The House of Representatives has ordered its Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts to carry out a public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria.
The F.R.C. had introduced the Corporate Governance Code which led to the stepping aside of General Overseer of the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
The new regulation pegged the leadership tenure for religious leaders at 20 years.
The House took the decisions after considering a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, who described the Council’s action as unconstitutional.
Representative Ogor accused the Council of usurping the powers of the National Assembly, wondering where the Council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the bodies, without the approval of the Legislature.
The House at its plenary asked the Council to suspend the code while the panel investigating its activities is expected to submit a report within four weeks.
The President consequently appointed Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.
President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC Act to nominate members of board of their councils.
The Nigerian government has suspended the law that forced Pastor Enoch Adeboye to step down as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Nigeria.
According to a statement signed by the media aide to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, the law has been suspended in order to review it.
The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria under Mr Jim Obazee, had directed not-for-profit organisations, including churches and mosques to comply with a corporate governance code stipulating a term of 20 years for heads of such entities.
The statement quoted the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah saying that the government remains committed to restoring and enhancing market confidence and improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate removal of the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, as well as the reconstitution of its board.
The President consequently appointed Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.
Mr Sulaiman is a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture.
He is a chartered accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.
President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary.
Mr Asopokhai is a partner and a financial reporting specialist at the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Nigeria.
He is also a product of the University of Lagos and the University of Pretoria.
The President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC Act to nominate members of board of their councils.
The directive was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the President’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu.
The Chief Economist and Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Nigeria, Andrew Nevine says the country’s Gross Domestic Product will grow some 30 billion U.S. dollars above South Africa in the current 2016 fiscal year.
Nigeria’s GDP stands at 568 billion dollars in 2014 versus 350.1 billion for South Africa. The gap is set to widen as South Africa faces some key challenges in its mining and energy sectors.
Speaking at the presentation of the new research report on ‘Nigeria: Looking Beyond Oil’ in Lagos on Thursday, Mr Nevine said that despite the present challenges facing Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy, the potentials of the country beyond oil are enormous.
The new study jointly done by the international consulting firm and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), highlights tax basket expansion, proper fiscal management, ease of doing business and developing a knowledge-based economy as some major drivers of economic diversification for Africa’s largest oil producer.
The PwC Chief Economist said that Nigeria’s intrinsic economic potential lie beyond crude oil, advising that the country should prepare for ”life beyond the oil resource”.
A Partner and Head, Tax and Regulatory Services with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Taiwo Oyedele, has also said that the National Assembly has a huge role to play in ensuring that Nigeria successfully diversifies its economy.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Business Morning on Friday, he highlighted the need to harmonise the sections of the Nigerian Constitution that will improve the economic and regulatory environment.
Even though transiting to a non-oil economy will not be an easy task, Mr Oyedele believes complex processes can be simplified to improve the ease of doing business.
Former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Wednesday urged relevant authorities to pursue the lines of investigation suggested by the PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the missing $20 billion oil funds.
“The lines of investigation suggested by this audit need to be pursued. Any officials found responsible for involvement in this apparent breach of trust must be charged”, he said, in an article titled ‘Unanswered questions on Nigeria’s missing oil revenue billions’, published in the Financial Times of London.
The former apex bank boss, now Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, also faulted the claims by the Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison Madueke’s that the audit report has exonerated the NNPC of diverting the missing funds.
He noted that the report has rather confirmed that at least $18.5 billion is still missing.
According to Emir Sanusi, “contrary to the claims of Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, the audit report does not exonerate the NNPC. It establishes that the gap between the company’s oil revenues between January 2012 and July 2013 and cash remitted to the government for the same period was $18.5bn.
“The auditors say a significant part of the unremitted funds is supposed to have gone towards a kerosene subsidy that had been stopped two and a half years earlier by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. His decree never appeared in the official gazette, leading some to question whether it ever had legal force.
“Evidence disclosed in the report suggests this is a sideshow. The executive secretary of the agency charged with administering subsidies confirmed that, acting on Yar’Adua’s orders, it had ceased granting subsidies on kerosene. There was no appropriation for such a subsidy in the 2012 or 2013 budgets.
“Throughout all this, Nigerians paid 120-140 naira a litre of kerosene, far more than the supposed subsidised price of 50 naira. Yet the state oil company withheld $3.4bn to pay for a subsidy that in effect did not exist. I have consistently held that this was a scam that violated the constitution and siphoned off money from the treasury.
“The second major item raised in the report relates to the transfer of oil assets belonging to the federation to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
“NPDC has paid $100m for these assets, from which it extracted crude valued at $6.8bn but paid tax and royalties worth $1.7bn in the period scrutinised by the auditors. PwC was unable to establish how much of the remaining $5.1bn should have been remitted to the government. But the report showed that, along with the private companies NPDC partnered with, it was extracting crude worth billions of dollars but yielding very little revenue for the treasury. I was investigating related transactions when I was suspended.
“The third major item is a claim of $2.8bn by NNPC for expenses not directly attributable to crude oil operations; PwC said “clarity is required” on whether such upfront deductions from remittances to the federation accounts are allowed, or whether the money should have been remitted to the government. Finally, there are duplicated ex¬penses, “unsubstantiated” costs, computation “errors” and tax shortfalls; a total of $1.48bn has to be refunded.
“Of the $18.5bn in revenues that the state oil company did not send to the government, about $12.5bn appears by my calculations to have been diverted. And this relates only to a random 19-month period, not the five-year term of Mr Jonathan, the outgoing president”, he said.
A forensic audit conducted by the audit firm on behalf of the Federal Government indicted the management of the NNPC for various questionable transactions.
Part of its recommendations include that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream subsidiary of the NNPC, should refund about $1.48 billion to the Federation Account for various unreconciled transactions.
President Goodluck Jonathan has order the immediate release to public the full report of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Forensic Audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) accounts in respect of the alleged missing $20 billion.
The President’s order was contained in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati.
According to the statement, the availability of the report to the public would make Nigerians properly informed on the matter.
President Jonathan’s decision is in line with Section 7(2) of the NNPC Act.
“President Jonathan is also deeply concerned by the continuing suggestions that his administration still has anything to hide about the unproven allegation that about $20 Billion is unaccounted for by the NNPC during his tenure,” the statement read.
Earlier, Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, said his administration would revisit the allegation made by the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, that about $20 billion oil revenue was not remitted into the federation account.
Alleged Last Minute Looting
President Jonathan’s order is coming after it was reported that the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Lai Mohammed, alleged that officials of the Federal Government were engaged in “last minute looting of the nation’s resources, rushed privatisation of key institutions and hurried recruitment into the public service”.
Responding to the allegation in the statement, the presidency said: “We also consider as most unfortunate and uncharitable, the suggestion by Alhaji Mohammed that the Jonathan Administration is trying to “tie the hands” of the incoming government merely by continuing to discharge its constitutional responsibilities until the end of its tenure”.
The presidency further stated that Jonathan’s administration had continued to do its best to ensure a smooth and peaceful handover over of power to the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, saying it regrets “unfairness and combative frame of mind reflected in Mr Mohammed’s statement”.
“President Jonathan has done his best in the past five years to discharge his constitutional responsibilities for good governance and effective leadership of the nation.
“In continuing to fulfil the obligations of his office however, President Jonathan has not, and will never condone any form of unscrupulous conduct on the part of state officials” the statement read.
The statement further stressed that President Jonathan would “never authorise any attempt to create any problems for the incoming administration”.
Read the full statement:
PRESIDENT JONATHAN ORDERS IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF REPORT OF FORENSIC AUDIT OF NNPC ACCOUNTS, DISMISSES ALLEGATION OF LAST MINUTE LOOTING, RUSHED PRIVATISATION AND HURRIED RECRUITMENT INTO FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE
We have noted with concern, the allegation by the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed that officials of the Federal Government are engaged in “last minute looting of the nation’s resources, rushed privatization of key institutions and hurried recruitment into the public service”.
We also consider as most unfortunate and uncharitable, the suggestion by Alhaji Mohammed that the Jonathan Administration is trying to “tie the hands” of the incoming government merely by continuing to discharge its constitutional responsibilities until the end of its tenure.
The Jonathan Administration which continues to do its best to ensure a smooth and peaceful handover over of power to the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, deeply regrets the unfairness and combative frame of mind reflected in Alhaji Mohammed’s statement.
President Jonathan has done his best in the past five years to discharge his constitutional responsibilities for good governance and effective leadership of the nation.
Without any prejudice whatsoever to the freedom of the incoming administration to do as it pleases, within the confines of extant laws when it assumes office, the Jonathan Administration will continue to discharge its responsibility to govern until May 29, 2015.
In continuing to fulfil the obligations of his office however, President Jonathan has not, and will never condone any form of unscrupulous conduct on the part of state officials.
President Jonathan will also never authorise any attempt to create any problems for the incoming administration as the APC spokesperson, who ought to know that the outcome of the March 28 presidential elections does not imply a cessation of governance, unjustly alleges.
As Alhaji Mohammed threatened in his statement, the incoming administration will be perfectly within its rights to review all actions of the present government as it may deem fit.
We see nothing wrong with that. After all, the present Administration reviewed the actions of previous governments on assumption of office with resultant benefits for policy and project implementation.
President Jonathan is also deeply concerned by the continuing suggestions that his administration still has anything to hide about the unproven allegation that about $20 Billion is unaccounted for by the NNPC during his tenure.
To lay the matter to rest, President Jonathan in line with Section 7(2) of the NNPC Act, has directed that the full report of the PWC Forensic Audit of the NNPC accounts be released immediately to the public so that all Nigerians will be properly informed on the matter.
Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) April 27, 2015
Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, says that his administration would revisit the allegation made by the former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, that about 20billion dollars oil revenue was not remitted into the federation account.
Retired General Buhari stated this while receiving delegates from Adamawa State.
The President-elect, who spoke in Hausa language at the meeting, said that 20billion dollars is too huge a sum to ignore and must be investigated.
Retired General Buhari also said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has drawn up a road map to address the issues of insecurity, youth unemployment and corruption in the country.
Sanusi had told the Senate Committee probing the allegation of unremitted funds, that the NNPC shipped 67billion dollars in crude and only 47 billion dollars had come back to the Federation.
The then CBN Governor insisted that the NNPC had to proof where the 20billion dollars was.
A forensic audit was also conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on the alleged missing 20billion dollars, the report of which the Group Managing Director of the NNPC said did not indict the corporation in anyway.
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has given the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Samuel Tokura, a one week ultimatum to forward the report of forensic audit on the alleged missing $20bn oil funds by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC ) to the house or risk sanctions.
Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola said this in the National Assembly, while speaking with journalists.
The lawmaker said despite several demands made to the executive and a resolution of the House passed demanding the full report of the forensic audit, the report has not been given to the legislature.
The House of Representatives had earlier asked the Presidency to tender the full report of the forensic audit conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on the alleged missing $20bn NNPC fund.
A motion raised by Femi Gbajabiamila said that more than eight months after the Federal Government engaged the international audit firm, and over two weeks after formal presentation of the forensic report, the Federal Government is yet to present the full details.
The House of Representatives have asked the Presidency to tender the full report of the forensic audit conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers PWC on the alleged missing $20 billion from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
A motion raised by Femi Gbajabiamila said that more than eight months after the Federal Government engaged the international audit firm, and over two weeks after formal presentation of the forensic report, the Federal Government was yet to make the findings known.
The minority leader of the House said that such a matter that has generated so much public outcry ought not to be ignored, saying tendering the report before the House would allow the situation be put in proper perspective.
The Group Managing Director, GMD, of the NNPC, Joseph Dawha, had said earlier that the investigations carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC over the alleged missing $20 billion oil money, did not indict the corporation in anyway.
Mr. Dawha also said the report “has clearly vindicated our long held position that the alleged unremitted crude oil revenue was a farce from day one”.